Colleen doesn’t realize, but she has a protein deficiency. Without adequate protein, our bodies
start to age at a faster rate. Our muscles, organs, bones, cartilage, skin, and the antibodies that
guard us from disease are all made of protein. Without sufficient protein, none of these can
repair themselves, and they decline into cellular breakdown.
Chronic, low-grade, long-term protein starvation leads to a loss of face and body skin
tone. Women notice their breasts beginning to sag faster. Their posture starts to stoop. But, she
could change the way she looks and feels beginning with her next meal. With the addition of
animal protein, she would begin to notice a visible lifting and toning of her skin on her face
Colleen would argue that she gets plenty of protein. On a rare cooked meal, she combines
rice and beans to try to make a complete protein. She makes lots of nut pates, and what about
all the sprouted seeds in her diet? The problem with being mostly vegetarian or worse, even
vegan, makes getting adequate protein a complicated affair. Animal protein is the only reli-
able source that contains all the essential amino acids. If our body does not have complete
availability at all times to the full range of these amino acids needed for cellular repair, it
Carnitine, a potent antioxidant and cell rejuvenator, as well as taurine, are only found in
animal sources. There are some amino acids that are critical for the brain and nervous system
that are found most abundantly in eggs and meat. These are the sulfur containing amino acids, methionine and cysteine. Additionally, animal sources are our only dietary means for Vitamin
A and D, and the newly discovered X factor (a protector against the ravages of toxins). Without
these, hormones will become unbalanced and depleted.
Meat is not usually looked upon as a health food. That’s a false perception, because meat
contains all the necessary amino acids needed for life, all the essential fats, and 12 of the 13
essential vitamins in large quantities. Vitamin C is the one vitamin that is scarce in meat, but it
abounds abundantly in leafy greens, the perfect companions to meat. Meat and greens comple-
ment one another completely.
In his book, Slimmer, Younger, Stronger, the author Sam Varner, who was former trainer of
the U.S. Olympic team, talks from his experience about the importance of animal protein. He
followed a strict vegan program for two years and did not notice any decline in health.
During his first year of coaching with the U.S. ski team, he had the opportunity to par-
ticipate in a protein study with some of the Olympic athletes. The study measured nitrogen
balance in the body. This determined if the athletes were consuming enough protein for their
activity level. Mr. Varner was sure his results would prove his vegan diet to be superior. To his
complete surprise, the tests showed he was in a negative nitrogen balance, meaning he was not
consuming enough protein. A prolonged negative nitrogen balance is very harmful. It has been
observed in almost every disease state. Sam Varner promptly changed his diet to include some
Animal Protein is Slimming
Colleen believes her mostly raw, high vegetable diet is the only effective way to remain slim.
She dropped 20 pounds when she eliminated meat from her diet, and she does not want it
back. She doesn’t realize that adding protein in the form of animal products would be a better
and easier way to manage her weight and keep her middle from protruding. Eating protein,
especially animal protein, can boost the metabolism by as much as 25 percent. A recent 2011
study cited in the Journal of Nutrition reveals the body expends 25 times more energy digesting
protein, such as chicken and low-fat dairy, than it does digesting carbs, or even fat. According
to this study, women on a protein rich plan lose up to 21 percent more weight and 21 percent
more belly fat than women on higher carb plans.
The animal foods in Colleen’s previous diet were unlikely the reason for her excess weight.
The real culprits were the processed grains and “Chips ‘n’ Dip” diet she used to eat. When
people eliminate meat and dairy from their diet, they usually also eliminate foods like white
buns and fries that accompany burgers, white toast that often accompany eggs, and sugar that
most yogurts and ice-cream contain. They start eating more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains
in place of these items and attribute their weight loss and improved health to the elimination of animal foods. They don’t realize it’s the diminished amount of refined, carby junk that is the
real reason. Another recent study by Korean researchers found that dieting adults who ate more
protein lost about two more pounds of pure belly fat than those who ate less protein and more
carbs. It’s hard to argue with such results.
Unknown to Colleen, despite all her tiresome effort in keeping up her diet, she has a lot in
common with Whole Grain Jane and Drive Thru Sue. She has a glucose and fructose rich diet
with all her dried and fresh fruit and large amounts of carrot juice. In addition, the only way
she can get her protein is through protein sources that are in carbohydrate form.
Colleen’s concentrated servings of grains and legumes are wreaking more havoc with her
insulin levels. She could enjoy them in moderate amounts, but trying to make them a full
protein source creates a monster. She would need to stuff herself with seven packed cups of
brown rice to get the protein content of one puny chicken breast. She would have to eat two
packed cups of beans to get the same amount of protein. And then she has to mix beans and
rice together at every meal to ensure she is getting a complete protein serving. She needs at least
this much protein at each meal for daily requirements. Can you imagine having to eat all that?
Having to do this on a daily basis, Colleen would only be rewarded with a belly full of bloat,
incomplete essential amino acids, and rising insulin levels.
Trying to get her protein through nuts and seeds also poses problems because these are
highly concentrated foods, containing both fat and a small amount of carbs. Used as an addi-
tional source of protein in smaller portions, nuts and seeds are hugely beneficial. But, making
a full meal of them can be fattening, especially when they are paired with other carbohydrates.
Dr. Perricone, a renowned anti-aging dermatologist and author #1 best selling, The Perricone
Prescription says, “Eating diets heavy in carbs to achieve your necessary protein affects the col-
lagen fibers of the skin. Diets heavy in carbs create a highly visible, inflammatory effect of the
face and the body. This is particularly apparent in my vegetarian patients who often appear
years older than they actually are. Their skin sags more and their skin color tends to be dull,
rather than rosy.”
A Heart at Risk
Colleen believes that meat leads to heart disease. But, scientific research like a 1986 study cited
in the Canadian Medical Association Journal indicates that inadequate protein, i.e. vegetarian-
ism, leads to loss of myocardial muscle and may therefore contribute to heart disease.